Challenge,  running


Slowly Building…

Very slowly, but making progress. And to do that, just like writing (or pretty much anything), I need a goal to build the habits.

I have twenty pounds to drop to get to a decent running weight. Thirty pounds to feel lighter. So about three months or so ago, I actually started to pay attention to what I was eating, calories (yes, I know, but this is the way that works for me.) Eating rounded meals and watching it all, and over the last month I very seldom missed my 1500 to 1800 calories day. Portions and better snacks helped.

My regular search on my phone is how many calories something is.

But I did not ramp up the exercise enough as I controlled the eating, even though I was building it up slowly with walking. Just not enough, so lost very little weight. No real surprise.

So now, over the last three weeks I am ramping up the exercise. I am doing 5 miles per day walking on a streak, have not missed in over a week and I want to see how long I can keep this streak alive.

And twice a week at the gym I add in a little running, being very careful of feet and knees with this extra weight. (gym has an indoor, air-conditioned track)

Today I dropped Kris off at the gym since she was going to run two miles, then do an hour-long exercise class. I went and got gas and came back and on the indoor track there I did a 5K walking, not stopping. (Just over 6,000 of my steps at 3.1 miles.) I got the other two miles in general stuff and walking a mile late tonight. My Fitbit tells me that if I was 30 pounds under this weight (I have it set there), I burned 2,550 calories. And today, very balanced, I ate 1,500 calories.

I am going to need to increase the intensity of the workouts and also do a bunch of cross-training in the gym (had a trainer, so know how safely), to really get the weight dropping.

But the weight is only the first goal. Kris and I are signing up for just about every 5K charity run we can find this fall, starting in the middle of September. (I might jump up to 10K if I get in shape.) Just about one every weekend from the middle of September to the middle of January.

So my real goal is to get down in weight so I can safely run, and then win some of my age brackets in some of these 5K races. Then do a half marathon for the Rock&Roll here in Vegas in late February and a full marathon again in March.

So two full months to the first 5K run. 9 weeks. I will be happy with one pound lost a week until then, and then keep it going into the fall, being down the full 30 by the half marathon. My personal best for the half is 2 hours, 56 minutes, 32 seconds. I am pretty sure I can beat that and if I don’t injure a foot again around mile six and keep going, I know I can beat my marathon time.

I assume that when the races start, you will see lots of pictures here and on Kris’s Facebook page. (grin) And we’ll help a lot of great charities along the way.

(Image of what I will look like for most runs coming up, only my hair is now longer.)


  • Vincent Zandri

    I think as writers staying in shape is of vital importance. When we’re glued to our chairs creating we’re glued to our chairs and who knows where the time goes. We also like to read. Again, sedentary activity but fun. Like you Dean, I run and lift everyday 7 days a week. Two hours per day. Plus a 1.5 mile walk in afternoon. Downhill ski in winter. I like beer too and that’s a weight gainer. So need to keep the calories in check along with the word count!

  • Kate Pavelle

    That’s a strong schedule, Dean! As Vincent said, we sit too much. For me, Covid was hard with the gym and the dojo closed, and I fell into some bad habits. I started training for a triathlon, but my ankle and knee were bothering me. Long story short, I am doing a lot of PT and being very selective about my orthopedists, because I am salvaging what cartilage I have left. Funny thing, working through the pain is very constructive – I feel a lot better the day after, with all the joints properly mobilized. However, when I have a sedentary day, I feel awfully achy afterward. My schedule consists of 3 days at the gym (elliptical and weights,) two days at the pool (I’m up to 1,100m including speed work,) and moderate hiking, biking, and gardening as weather and my joints allow. PT exercises every other day. I am working hard to balance my fight against the Time of Great Forgetting with self-care. Self-care is critical, but it takes *time.* As for triathlons, I’ll be looking into teams next year, see if anyone needs a swimmer!